BEAVERCREEK — Coming from many years of being a coach for an area club gymnastics program, Rick Reedy noticed a different atmosphere at the high school level of the sport.
He set out to change that environment into one that was more enjoyable for everyone involved.
“When I first started, we would go and compete. And I noticed that no one cheered for the other teams,” Reedy explained. “And I didn’t like that aspect of the sport. I can understand it when you are in club competition, because clubs are looking at this financially. If you cheer for someone else, that gymnast could leave and go to the other club. And then you have a club that’s angry with you. At high school, it doesn’t work that way.”
Reedy soon had his gymnasts pick out at least five gymnasts from other teams, and told them to cheer for them throughout the meet.
“All the other schools soon realized what we were doing. And the next thing you know, all the other schools were interacting with each other and supporting each other. They know that they’re not going to leave their school, and the support was more in friendship with each other,” he said.
Reedy’s efforts to bring sportsmanship to the world of high school gymnastics didn’t go unrecognized by his fellow coaches.
During the March 1 state meet, Ohio High School Athletic Association gymnastics representative Deborah Moore presented Reedy with the 2014 OHSAA Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Award.
“I truly am honored to be selected by my fellow coaches to receive this award,” he said. “It’s an honor that I was mentioned and thought about by my coaches that way.”
Reedy serves as the gymnastics coach for Beavercreek High, but he takes in student-athletes from other area high schools as well. He coaches high school student gymnasts at Greeneview, Xenia and Versailles High Schools as well.
“When I’m at a meet, I talk to every person in the gym. And I always make myself available to any person who needs help,” Reedy said. “And if there’s a high school that doesn’t have a gymnastics program, but they have a kid who wants to compete, I’m glad to help them as well.”
At this year’s state meet, Reedy had two vaulters in the competition — Beavercreek’s Cindy Currier and Greeneview’s Olivia Bradds.
Currier finished 22nd overall with a vault score of 8.95. Bradds, making Greeneview’s first-ever trip to the state meet, placed 26th with a score of 8.90.
“It was a great accomplishment for those two to get to state. And for them to finish as they did, says a lot as well,” Reedy said. “I was just proud of them both.”
And coaches, gymnastics officials, fans and even the gymnasts themselves appear to be proud to have Rick Reedy on the floor, too. Reedy has an award to prove it.